Local Producer Spotlight: Farmstead Cider, Jackson Hole’s First Cidery

Founders of Farmstead Cider, Orion Bellorado and Ian McGregor, were childhood friends long before becoming business partners. Growing up together in Jackson Hole, they forged a solid friendship with deep roots and an innate understanding of what it’s like to live on the edge of the wilderness. Today, a shared mindset fuels their collaborative vision about the importance of co-existing with wild animals and preserving this special place they call home, which is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Even the tagline for their cidery reflects this conservation-minded ethos: Save Bears. Drink Cider.”

Before the two friends partnered up to form Farmstead Cider, Orion and Ian established Mr. McGregor’s Garden, a local pie and quiche company that evolved into Roots Kitchen & Cannery and is now a nationally distributed jam and pickle manufacturer. They brought their business acumen together once more to develop Farmstead Cider, their newest endeavor. Ian, who has a background in winemaking and agriculture and Orion, who is an experienced educator, combined their skills to create hard-cider blends with a mission to save wildlife by making cider.



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Winner of two Good Food Awards which celebrates finely crafted food and beverages that are responsibly produced, Farmstead Cider makes their small-batch hard cider by harvesting local crabapples and cherries from neighborhood trees all around Jackson, reducing bear-human conflict in the process. By harvesting these tempting fruits and using them for cider-making instead of leaving them as attractants for wildlife, Farmstead Cider not only distills uniquely flavored hard ciders, but also helps local conservation efforts.

Every step in their process is focused on sustainability. When sourcing sweet apples from Montana to complement their blends, they reach beyond sourcing from organic farms and purchase apples and juice from biodynamic farms which go the extra mile for environmental sustainability. As a small, family-oriented operation, Farmstead Cider constricts their industrial footprint as well. Their fermentation tanks are reusable, and they age their ciders in used, oak, Wyoming Whiskey barrels, giving the casks a new generation of use.

This spring, the cidery will debut a special sparkling cider bottled especially for The Clear Creek Group. The limited-edition cherry cider will come in an elegant 750 ml bottle with The Clear Creek Group’s own custom label. Infused with flavors of wild Wyoming and reflecting the personal touch that is the cornerstone of The Clear Creek Group’s hospitality, the cider will serve to welcome guests to The Clear Creek Group’s luxury properties with a taste that is uniquely Jackson Hole.

Not only are Farmstead’s hard ciders creatively and consciously crafted, they come with a backstory that is as interesting as the bottled beverages themselves.

Q. What was your inspiration for starting up Farmstead Cider?

A. We have always done small-business work together, largely around food and beverage. We are compelled by our common ethos of minimal processing and practices that support zero chemical interventions. We enjoy supporting sustainable local/​regional sourcing. We are pushing for the least tampered products as much as we can!

Q. How did it all begin and when?
A. Heidi (Orion’s wife) and I received a home press for our wedding. We started scrumping apples for fall fun, and the county found out. For three years they paid us to develop a community harvest system, and after that we launched our cider for sale to the community and beyond. We still harvest our community for problem” fruit each year and that remains a key part of our mission.

Q. What is your favorite aspect about how it has grown or taken shape?
A. Working within our local and regional food network has been super fulfilling. We continue to work toward better practices and sourcing to make our products and business both fun and amazing!

Q. What is your recipe for running a successful enterprise?
A. Still working on that, we have held ourselves and our products to a pretty high standard. We are patient, but I don’t know if we have nailed the recipe.

Q. Why is your slogan Save Bears. Drink Cider.”?
A. Part of the revenue from every cider promotes our mission to mitigate more and more animal attractants in our neighborhood communities, so each sip of cider helps us save more and more bears!

Q. Why is your focus on locally sourced ingredients important?
A. Part of a larger shift we all need to make to support a sustainable and tasty future.

Q. Please share a fun fact or facts about you and/​or Farmstead Cider.
A. Farmstead is one of the only cideries in the country to live a zero-zero standard. We don’t add yeast or chemical additives. We wild ferment (native yeast) and never add anything throughout the process. In our canned line of ciders, we condition using organic sugar in the can, everything else is fermented using a Pét-Nat conditioning method.
Ian and I have been making and teaching about local food for the last 20 years beginning with Mr. McGregor’s Garden selling pies and quiche on the Jackson Hole Town Square.

Purchasing Options: Farmstead hard ciders are available in bottles and on tap and can be found at many of the restaurants and all of the liquor stores in Jackson. Tastings for four or more are available by appointment. The cost is $25 per person, and The Clear Creek Group’s concierge team would be delighted to arrange it for you! You can also purchase ciders through Farmstead Cider’s online bottle shop at https://​farm​stead​wyo​.com/​bottl….

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There is so much to do in Jackson Hole. Rush downriver in a kayak. Ride horseback through a sea of golden grass. Cast a line into water clear as the sky, while the fish flash by like stars. There’s hiking, biking, snowmobiling, and of course, skiing. The Clear Creek Group affiliates with the best service providers in the area, people as passionate as we are about providing great experiences. We can arrange anything imaginable, from backcountry pack trips and heli-skiing to the selection of a personal chef.

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